During the afternoon of 26th August, 2020 I was at CID Headquarters, Eve Leary interviewing and taking instructions from a client that I was retained to defend. Visiting clients in police custody has been an important aspect of my work as a criminal defence lawyer for many years. The detainee’s constitutional right to instruct his chosen legal adviser without delay, is a right that I have very vigilantly protected whenever necessary. I have, however, always understood that the police will require sufficient time to make a written record of my visit and to provide a suitable space to facilitate our private communications. Unfortunately, there are no dedicated areas in any of our police stations for lawyer and client communications.
As I left the compound that afternoon I was accosted by a colleague Darren Wade who berated me in the presence of the press for joining with the police in the interrogation of his client, Mr Clairmont Mingo. Similar sentiments were repeated in various facebook postings by him. During my time at the CID Headquarters on that day, I did not speak with Mr Mingo, I did not interact with him nor did I witness his questioning by anyone. I am also completely unaware of any information that he may have provided to the police. Mr Wade’s statements about me were untrue, defamatory and did incite others to vilify and threaten me.
Because Mr Wade is a young and enthusiastic lawyer, as I once was, I have no interest in pursuing the legal avenues available to me, but I am constrained to put myself on record as refuting his allegations and statements against me.
While the ranks of politicians in Guyana are made up of many members of our mutual profession, it would serve my colleague well to remember that political theatre, such as was recently displayed by him, may very well harm his standing within the legal community and this noble profession.